The recent Lattice80 relocation and the subsequent rebranding of 80 Robinson Road (wherein Lattice80 previously occupied two floors) to 80RR may have been the result of a major fallout between Marvelstone Group, who runs Lattice80, and Hong Leong Group, the Malaysian conglomerate who owns the building.
According to several sources with knowledge of the matter, Hong Leong has accused Marvelstone of neglecting to pay utility bills, internet services and other rental fees. Hong Leong is said to have had to step in to foot the bills.
When pressed for a statement, Marvelstone told e27 that they did not have “any official comment at this time.”
For its part, a Hong Leong representative said, “Hong Leong can’t confirm or deny the matter, it is in the hands of our lawyers.”
The sources allege that the Marvelstone Founders had not been responsive to the Lattice80 tenants’ queries within their various internal communication channels.
When Hong Leong announced that they were taking over Marvelstone’s lease, the tenants were apparently caught off guard. They blamed Marvelstone for failing to provide timely notifications beforehand so they could plan their next move.
Marvelstone also neglected to provide adequate explanations and the tenants were kept in the dark. Many of them feared eviction from the premises.
Singapore’s central bank Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had to step in mediate between Hong Leong and Marvelstone as well as assuage tenants’ fears.
One of the announcements made by MAS at this year’s Fintech Festival was the launch of 80RR, which MAS plans to transform into a 100,000 sq. ft. building dedicated entirely to startups. This was the same location that was previously run by Marvelstone.
After consulting with MAS, Hong Leong held an emergency town hall to address tenants’ concerns. They agreed to allow tenants to pay Lattice80’s rates for the next three months (until end of February), after which the revised rates — which are higher — will kick in.
The tenants, however, had to cough up these three months of rent in advance.
In a statement to e27, Sopnendu Mohanty, the Chief FinTech Officer at MAS said,
“A vibrant and collaborative office space is a key infrastructure for our FinTech ecosystem. MAS is happy to work with Hong Leong Holdings Limited (HLH) and Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) to provide FinTech start-ups and companies a dedicated and conducive environment at 80RR to accelerate collaboration and partnerships amongst FinTech players.”
Additional reporting by Kevin McSpadden
Image Credit: Marvelstone Group